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Big Improvement to ADSL Broadband Performance in 2013

November 2013 Broadband Report
Full results with charts:

Big Improvement to ADSL Broadband Performance in 2013

A review of ADSL download times inside New Zealand reveal major improvements across four ISPs during 2013 (Chart 6).

In contrast, Latency to the USA is trending up, with the time it takes for data to be returned to TrueNet's test probes increasing significantly over the last three months.

Summary of Performance Measures - All ISPs

Results in the table below are the averages of the medians from each probe.

Speed performance for all ISPs achieved better than 90% of the maximum speed by time-of-day for the third month in a row.

Orcon fibre had the best overall performances for Testpage and Livepage download times. Telecom ADSL had the worst Testpage, and Vodafone the worst Livepage download times.

*8pm Mb/s speed for ADSL and VDSL is the average for all connections of each technology.

Speed (File Download Performance)


Each ADSL probe downloads a 300kb file from our Wellington server once every hour of every day.

November results were similar to September & October. There was a tight grouping of good performance for most hours of the day, with a small reduction in speed in the evening busy period. Snap, Xnet, Telecom, and Orcon continue to be top performers. The hour with the poorest performance was 9pm.


VDSL tests use a 1MB file downloaded every 5 hours per probe, from Auckland, and Wellington. The performance shown in Chart 2 uses the median of the best download times from either the Auckland, or the Wellington server for each test run.

Telecom's VDSL performance this month showed a reduction in file download speed during the main business day, but otherwise very consistent performance at other times. Snap's performance remains very consistent between 95%-100% of peak speed.

We are still wanting additional Voyager VDSL Volunteers.

Fibre - Cable - VDSL Technologies Compared

Fibre, Cable and VDSL results have been combined, and actual speeds achieved are shown for these technologies.

ISP Comparison (File Download Performance)

Chart 3 below shows the speed of each service by product offered, with dashed lines representing the lower speed service of a technology, e.g. the 100Mb Cable is solid vs 15Mb Cable which is dashed.

High speed Broadband services - Fibre 50Mb/100Mb, and Cable 10Mb/100Mb - though faster than other services, are both well below the headline rate of 100Mb, with Cable services never reaching 60Mb/s.

Both 100Mb Fibre and Cable services experience significant reductions in speed during the evening high useage periods. Compare this with VDSL, and the lower speed Fibre & Cable service offerings, which all have consistent speeds throughout the day.

VDSL is significantly faster than the 2Mb/15Mb Cable option.

Vodafone's 100Mb/s Cable product is improving with top average speed for all probes of almost 60Mb/s. We are now seeing most of these probes with a median of 100Mb/s or better.

Technology Comparison (File Download Performance)

In Chart 3a, VDSL services are identified as FTTN which includes Fibre connected to a local cabinet as opposed to the Exchange, and is usually closer to the users home than Exchange based services. VDSL speeds are dependent on distance from the DSLAM to the users home.

FTTN VDSL sourced from a cabinet is achieving speeds almost equivalent to the Fibre to the home (FTTH 30Mb) service; and is clearly superior to Exchange based VDSL where Copper distances from the Exchange are often longer which causes a reduction in speed.

Webpage Download Time

Webpage download results are grouped into TrueNet test webpages, and live public webpages. Each chart show time to download all pages, measured in seconds and summed together in a total download time. Orcon Fibre is best in both groups.

TrueNet Test Pages Download Times

Chart 4: Telecom ADSL significantly improved on recent months, though still slowest of the ADSL providers. Their perfomance is limited by the time taken to download the Sydney page.

Note that fibre services achieve very fast times for loading both NZ test pages.

Live Public Webpages Download Times

Our live webpages tests include the 8 public webpages indicated in the legend of Chart 5. Only the volunteers who allow larger data samples are included in these results.

Fibre continues to show the best performance, loading pages almost twice as fast as ADSL services.

Download Review - January 2013 to November 2013

Chart 6 shows a month by month comparison of ADSL National test page download times for the whole of 2013.

Browsing experience improvements for the year are extraordinary. Four of these major ISPs have made major improvements throughout the year, with much closer grouping of all ISPs and faster performance by November 2013.

Chart 6: In January, four ISPs exceeded 1.0 second to download a National test page, by November this was reduced to 0.5second. This improvement has been achieved by closer monitoring of ISP networks. It is a reminder of the value of TrueNet's monitoring, and independent monthly publications of ISPs performance.


Latency is the time it takes for a packet of data to be returned by a remote server to a Volunteer's probe.

In Chart 7, Vodafone Cable showed an increased latency in November, which is now far more than other services.

Compared to recent months, November results showed a general increase in latency on the International link to Dallas. In September 2013, only seven measurements exceeded 200ms, by November thirteen exceeded 200ms.

Full results with charts:

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